Until I moved to New York for college, I had Chinese food every single day of my life. There wasn’t one day I didn’t have rice and my parents made a point to incorporate soup, greens, meat and fruit in every single meal. Truth be told, there were many things I ate that I’ve never seen anywhere else in the states. A lot of the produce and products they get are from Asian supermarket, imported directly from Taiwan or in today’s example — purchased from my family’s “vegetable lady.” Well I’m back in California for a while so here’s an attempt to decode some the dishes around my family’s lazy Susan.
This dragon beard vegetable cannot be purchased in supermarkets. My parents get it from a family friend who plants the vegetables herself. The dish is made with garlic and water. Dragon beard is the shoot of the chayote plant and widely planted in Taiwan.
This can be purchased in the supermarket, but according to my mom, it’s too 粗 (cu), or rough. So like most of her vegetables, this particular stalk comes from her “vegetable lady” who plants the stuff herself. The red color is natural and the dish is also made with sauteed garlic and water.